Desmond leaned against the wall of the truck with his eyes closed. He felt exhausted, and not just from the fight he'd just been in. He felt mentally drained, as well. Unfolding the secrets of the pieces of Eden took more than he thought he had in him. And then, to even fathom the destruction foretold by Minerva... It was a lot to take in.
Opening his eyes, Desmond looked down at the hidden blade on his arm. The assassin's insignia gleamed in the light from the florescent fixtures attached to the ceiling, the silver A he had come to know so well. Did this mean he was an assassin now? he wondered. Was he now officially on the side of the people whose world he had been forcibly shoved into? Did it really matter, in the scheme of things?
"Desmond?" Lucy's concerned voice broke into his thoughts. "How are you feeling?"
Looking up, Desmond saw not the face of the blonde woman who had saved his life so many times, but of another woman, one he had met not so long ago as he had shoved his blade into her stomach. The expression on that woman's face had not been one of gentle concern, as Lucy's was now, but of pain and even fear.
I killed someone's wife, Desmond realized, looking at Lucy. I killed.
Abruptly he stood, needing to move, to run, to get away from the weight of the truth that was now pressing down upon him. How many? he wondered dimly, beginning to pace the cramped width of the truck. How many lives had he taken? How many people wouldn't get to see the faces of their loved ones again, children calling out vainly for their daddy or mommy, because of him?
"Desmond?" Lucy's anxious face invaded his thoughts. "What's wrong? Are you hallucinating?"
Desmond shook his head, gesturing vaguely. "No, no, it's not that. It's-" He choked up as a vision of himself came before his mind's eye. He stood over the body of a Templar soldier, scarlet blood splattered across his jacket, with a sick smile as he turned to shove his blade into the chest of another. He was a killer. A cold-blooded murderer.
"I'm a killer," he heard himself saying. "I'm a killer. A killer..."
"I don't see what the problem is," Shaun suddenly cut in. He had been watching Desmond's outburst with a look of indifference, almost boredom. "You killed all the time as Ezio and Altair. What's the difference then and now?"
"It wasn't real!" Desmond shouted at Shaun, his anger suddenly sparked. "I always knew that what I was seeing was a dream, a memory. Those people were long dead, so what if I killed them again? But now..." Desmond stared at his hands. Though they were clean, in his mind's eye he could see the bloodstains. They would forever be there, a constant reminder of the cost of their freedom.
"People die, Desmond." The words were harsh blows, a blade in his gut. "People are killed every single day. Are you so affected by the death of thousands of people you don't even know? Of course not. Instead, you cry and moan because you had to get your hands dirty. Stop being selfish, we've got bigger problems."
Desmond's head snapped up, and he glared at the man with a ferocity that would have made a charging army of Templars look harmless. "You act as though their lives don't mean anything. How can you be so uncaring? Those people had feelings, thoughts, families, and I stole it from them!" Before he could stop himself, he was lunging across the tiny space, hands curled into fists in preparation for who knows what. If Lucy and Rebecca hadn't been there, he might have beaten Shaun into an unrecognizable mess.
Each woman had the enraged ex-subject by an arm, struggling to hold him back from Shaun. Throughout the entire scene, the Brit had done nothing but sit in his chair calmly and watch as Desmond attempted to kill him. His seeming indifference only served to make Desmond angrier, and he tried his hardest to free himself from the grip of Rebecca and Lucy.
Finally, Lucy kicked out her foot and neatly brought Desmond to his knees with a jab to the back of his leg. Desmond slumped to the floor suddenly, as though as the energy had been drained from him.
Staring at his hands dully, Desmond muttered, "You ugly bastard. I'll kill you."
"Now isn't that ironic?" came the crisp reply.